What Is a Contract Manager?

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A contract manager is one who negotiates the terms and conditions of a contract made between parties or organizations. The contract manager also keeps notations of any changes that is made during the negotiation process. Contract managers are the people behind the creating, implementing and analyzing of any large contract that is to be made.


Contract managers are responsible for each stage of contract negotiations. They regulate the bidding of jobs and how they will be handled. They see the contract through to make sure that it is implemented in the correct manner, making sure both parties are following the expectations that have been outlined. Ensuring that the terms of the contract are met is extremely important, especially with large contracts because many things can get overlooked during implementation. This role is also referred to as contract administration.

Types of contracts

A contract defines everything that is expected of the parties involved in the contract. Everything is outlined in detail so that there will be no question or doubt as to what events should take place. Types of contracts usually include: purchasing, sales contracts, trade agreements, ordering agreements, payments, incentive contracts, partnership agreements, government contracts and intellectual property agreements.

Job Opportunities

Typically a contract manager has opportunities at three levels within an organization. An entry level manager deals with low-risk opportunities. These types of contracts are very simple and are usually easy to implement. These managers need 2-5 years of business experience as well as a bachelor's degree. Mid-level managers cover mostly mid-range business contracts. They typically have 7+ years of business experience in addition to a bachelor's degree. The senior-level contract manager has at least 10 years of business experience and often has an advanced degree such as an MBA. They deal only with high-risk contracts that have a lot of visibility.


The average income for a contract manager is around $67,000 per year. High-end managers or managers with 10+ years of experience can make $120,000 or more. Beginning or entry-level salaries are usually around $45,000. Contract mangers working for private firms and for the federal government can command high-end salaries.

Areas of contract management

Areas of contract management include: creating and negotiations, document management, growth, commitments, communications, transaction compliance, contract visibility, service agreements, change management, growth and savings.